ANTONELLO da Messina
(b. ca. 1430, Messina, d 1479, Messina)
Oil on panel 52.5 x 42.5 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
The painting represents Christ Crucified between two Evildoers, with Maria and John the Evangelist.
In the work of the Sicilian painter Antonello da Messina the characteristics of 15th-century Flemish and Italian painting are combined in a very balanced way. Antonello, who lived in Naples from 1445, probably became acquainted with Flemish painting through works that were shipped from Bruges to Naples.
In addition to this Venetian painting influenced Antonello when he stayed in the Lagoon City in 1475. Elements of this synthesis are already present in the Antwerp Crucifixion.
A total of only 12 signed works by Antonello have been preserved. Ten of them are also dated. One of these is the Antwerp Crucifixion. The following text is written in tiny characters on a small piece of parchment on a piece of wood broken off from the crucifix in the left foreground: '1475 Antonellus Messaneus me pinxit.'